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Survival Thai Phrases

(grouped by topics)

[purple dot] Pronunciation Guide

      Provides explanation of transcription notation used here including audio examples.

[purple dot] Available topics

Please click the highlighted Thai phrases to listen to the sound. (in .wav format)
Here's how to say Happy New Year in Thai
sa1wat2dii1 pii1 may2
           Useful Words and phrases
           Self Introduction
           Getting Around
           Numbers and Counting



[purple dot] Useful words and phrases

(for male speaker) sa1wat2dii1 khrap4
(for female speaker) sa1wat2dii1 kha3

Language Note

sa1wat2dii1 all purpose phrase for greetings and returning greetings (equivalent to English "hello") and taking leave (equivalent to English "goodbye"). Similar in usage to Hawaiian "aloha"
(polite particle for men)
(polite particle for women)
In Thai conversation, particles (little words at the end of clauses) are used to convey a variety of speaker's attitudes, including degree of politeness and familiarity with addressee. Some particles have variant forms of usage, depending on the gender of the speaker. Polite particles belong to this group.
These particles also function as acknowledging particles, the same way 'yes' functions.

kh@@p2 khun1
kh@@p2 khun1 khrap4 (polite for male speaker)
kh@@p2 khun1 kha3 (polite for female speaker)
Thank you.
(expressing thanks and reply in returning compliments)

kh@@5 thoot3
kh@@5 thoot3 khrap4 (polite for male speaker)
kh@@5 thoot3 kha3 (polite for female speaker)
Excuse me, I am sorry.
may3 pen1 ray1
may3 pen1 ray1 khrap4 (polite for male speaker)
may3 pen1 ray1 kha3 (polite for female speaker)
Don't mention it, It's OK.

chay3 laeaew4
chay3 laeaew4 khrap4 (polite for male speaker)
chay3 laeaew4 kha3 (polite for female speaker)
That's right.
Language Note
chay3 to be correct
laeaew4 emphasis particle

may3 chay3
may3 chay3 khrap4 (polite for male speaker)
may3 chay3 kha3 (polite for female speaker)
That's not correct. That's not right.

Language Note
may3 not (negation)

chuay3 duay3 HELP!

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[purple dot] Self Introduction

(for male speaker) phom5 chUU3 (your name here)
(for female speaker) di1chan4 chUU3 (your name here)
(for both male/female) chan4 chUU3 (your name here)
My name is -----------
(Lit. I am named ----)
khun1 chUU3 ?a1ray1 (khrap4/kha4)
What is your name?
(Lit.) You name what

Language Note

For first person pronouns, Thai has 2 pronouns that are gender specific with respect to the speaker:

phom5 I (polite 1st person pronoun for male speaker, can be used in both formal or informal situation)
di1chan4 I (polite 1st person pronoun for a female speaker, used for formal situation)

Other pronouns are not so gender specific, though some are preferred by male speakers, some are preferrred by female speakers.
chan4 I (a more general 1st person pronoun for female speaker in informal situation, can also be used by male speakers, though not so common)
chUU3 (v.) to be called, (n.) name.
khun1 you (polite 2nd person pronoun)
Thais normally address people by first name rather than family name. One can add the polite title (khun1) before the name of the addressee or person referred to, for example: khun John, khun Mary etc. One does not refer to oneself with (khun1) preceding the name.

phom5 maa1 caak2 (town,city, state, country here) I am from --------------
(Lit. I come from....)
phom5 maa1 caak2 a1mee1ri1kaa1 I am from America


maa1 (v.)to come
caak2 from

[purple dot] Getting Around

khun1 ca1 pay1 nay5 Where are you going?
(Lit. You are going where)


khun1 you (neutral, polite)
ca1 particle marking intention, future event
pay1 go
nay5 where

phom3 ca1 pay1 roong1raeaem1 Hilton I am going to Hilton Hotel.


roong1raeaem1 hotel

(place name) yuu2 thii3 nay5 Where is (place name)
(Lit. (place name) is located where)
roong1raeaem1 Hilton yuu2 thii3 nay5 Where is Hotel Hilton?
h@ng3naam4 yuu2 thii3 nay5 Where is the toilet?
raan4 a1haan5 yuu2 thii3 nay5 Where is the restaurant


yuu2 be located
thii3 at, place
thii3 nay5 where
h@ng4 room
naam4 water
h@ng3naam4 toilet
raan4 shop
a1haan5 food
raan4 a1haan5 restaurant (Lit. food shop)

(place name) yuu2 thii3 (location) (place name) is located at (location)
roong1raeaem1 Hilton yuu2 thii3 tha1non5 wit4tha1yu4 The Hilton Hotel is located on Witthayu Road.


tha1non5 road, street

Some useful Place words

sa1thaa5nii1 rot4fay1 railway station
sa1thaa5nii1 tam1ruat1 police station
paay3 rot4mee1bus stop

Mode of transportation

rot4 automobile
rot4mee1 bus
rot4fay1 train (Lit.) Fire car
(rot4) thaek4sii3 taxicab
(rot4) tuk4tuk4 motorize 3-wheel openair taxi

[purple dot] Shopping

Coming soon!

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This page is maintained by Yuphaphann Hoonchamlong (yui@alpha.tu.ac.th)
Last updated December 24, 1997